Monday, June 1, 2015

Vanilla Crêpes with Apricots and Basil-Ricotta

Hey friends, happy MONDAY!  Today, I have yet another breakfast recipe that's perfect for weekend breakfast or brunch.  It is a bit more involved then my usual recipes as it requires making a the crêpe batter, a quick vegan ricotta with fresh basil and a simple orange apricot coulis.  In the end, you will have these bright and stunning breakfast crêpes that are well worth the effort.

Yum!  And hurrah for summer brunch!

The following recipe serves four.  Please feel free to scale up the portion size as needed.

I will list the recipe in three steps. We will start by making the batter for the crêpes, the coulis and then the ricotta.  

CRÊPE  Ingredients: 
  • 1 Tbsp. Ground Flax Seeds;  (we bought ours whole, ground it in the food processor and now store the ground flax seeds in a mason jar in the freezer)
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Vegan Butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • a pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Cooking Oil;  for coating the pan
  • 6-8 Apricots

  • In a medium size bowl add the ground flax seeds and 5 tablespoons of water.  Let this mixture sit for about 20 minutes. 
  • Melt the butter and then whisk it, the milk, sugar, a bit of salt and the vanilla extract with the flax seed mixture until everything is well combined.  While continuing to whisk, slowly add the flour.
  • Let the crêpe batter rest on the counter for about 2 hours. This is a good time to make the coulis and the ricotta.

  • COULIS  Ingredients: 
    • 2 Apricots
    • 1 Orange;  peeled and juiced
    • 1/4 cup Sugar
    • 1 Piloncillo cone (it's made from pure, unrefined sugar that is pressed into a cone shape/ you could use brown sugar as a substitute) 

    • Wash and clean the apricots and the orange.
    • Peel the orange with a vegetable peeler.
    • Add the sugar onto a cutting board, add the orange peel and chop with a heavy knife until the zest is very finely minced and combined with the sugar. Add everything into a small pot and turn the heat to medium.
    • Juice the orange and add the liquid to the pot as well.
    • Next, remove the pits from the apricots, crack them open with a nut cracker or hammer and add the white seeds and the apricot halves to the mixture.  Surprisingly, the seeds will add a nice marzipan-like flavor.
    • Let simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. After that let it cool and press it through a strainer to remove the zest and the apricot seeds.

  • RICOTTA  Ingredients: 
    • 1/2 package firm tofu;  pressed so that the water is completely drained
    • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh Basil leaves
    • 1/2 tbsp. dried Basil
    • 1/2 tsp. Salt
    • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground Pepper
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed Lemon juice

    • Drain the tofu of the liquid and then wrap it into a clean dish towel and set something heavy on top.
    • When the tofu is all dry, add it and the dried basil, salt, pepper, oil and lemon juice into a food processor. Blend the mixture in short bursts until everything is combined. 
    • Then add the fresh basil and continue blending until everything is evenly distributed.
  • After the crêpe batter has rested and the ricotta and the coulis is made, it's time to bake and assemble the crêpes.  For this, coat a small frying pan with a little bit of cooking oil and turn the burner to medium-high heat.
  • When the pan is hot, add a thin layer of the batter and move the pan to let it coat the surface evenly.  Cook for about a minute, then loosen the edges with a soft spatula to see if you are happy with how it's cooked.  Some like it pasty white, but I actually prefer if my crêpes show some browning.  If you like how it looks, flip the crêpe and cook for one minute more on the other side.  At this time I usually like to turn down the heat a little.  You can tell that the crêpe is done when the edges start to stand back from the pan and look a little bit more crisp.
  • Cut the apricots in sections and toss them with some of the coulis.
  • To serve, place one or two crêpes onto a plate and spoon about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta and a lot of the apricots sections into the center of each crêpe, and then loosely fold over the edges.  Drizzle with the orange apricot coulis and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
       Nina & Spencer

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